Friday 31 July 2015

French Infantry - some more thoughts

(Updated 03/08/2015)

Since the post on French Infantry on 31 January there was a lot of discussion about the need for new French moulds (the Karoliners are pretty close), and if there is a need what to put in them. There are still comments coming into that post, which suggests that there is interest in moulds for French infantry, so I have discussed with PA the possibility of doing some after the initial releases of cavalry.

I have read through and responded to all the comments, and hopefully my suggestions below cover most of what has been said - please put me straight if I have got it wrong?

Having looked through all my reference books, and the quite a few hours on the internet, I came to the conclusion that this Historex sheet is a good starting point for discussion.

Mould 1 - Rank and File

The first two illustrations give a pretty good indication of what I think the figures should include to make them distinct from the the what is already available in the range:

  • Coat with turn backs.
  • Visible external waist belt and scabbards for the sword and bayonet.
  • The large haversack slung over the right shoulder
  • Hair in a short pony tail extending not far below the collar

I would suggest there should be a mould with the usual advancing and march attack poses, kitted out as these chaps. For heads there would be:

  1. Tricorn, hair loose, clean shaven, for fusiliers (looks same as Russian musketeer)
  2. Tricorn with moustache, for grenadiers (could also be used as late war Russian grenadier)
  3. Plain fronted bearskin for Grenadiers de France (could also be used as 'German' grenadiers in Austrian army if you don't like the side plaits in the Hungarian moulds).

For use in Canada, it might be useful to fit in a 'bonet de police' as worn by the chap in the middle of the illustration below, In the moulds there is usually space for two figures and four 'bits', so a fourth head will not fit in a mould containing a the march attack figure with a separate arm.

Mould 2 - Drummer and officer/standard bearer

Many illustrations show the French drummers without the coat turned back as the third figure along in the Historex print. With the loose coat tails and belts and scabbards outside the figure is significantly different. (However if you wanted to minimise mould purchases, and already have the Prussians, then drummers are also shown with turn backs, so their drummer is pretty close, but the belts are under the coat and the Prussian coat is open down the front)

The Prussian and Russian officers are close, but not quite right, the Prussian's sash is too prominent, and the gauntlets on the Russian are wrong. if a suitable pose can be found then provide an officer who can either carry the standard or a pole arm.

As for heads in a second mould, an officer's head with tricorn and side curls would be needed, this would also be fine for the drummer (or use one from the rank and file), there is then scope to put in something different, perhaps:
  1. Tricorn, side curls, for officer (& drummer)
  2. Bonnet de police, for Canada (as requested by Paco)
  3. IF it will not fit in the cavalry mould, a bearskin without hanging bag. An alternative interpretation of the Grenadiers de France, and more importantly it would convert the Austrian cuirassier to the Cuirassiers du Roi (as requested by Duc de Brouilly).
  4. Might be space for something else, depends what second figure is

After these four figures what else is really needed for the French?

  1. Alternative rank and file mould with the coat without turn backs (also for WAS etc)
  2. NCO - armed with a pole arm, and the same baggage as the rank and file, but no cartridge box, the coat tails could be left down for variety??

Current thinking is (updated 03/08/2015)........................

Get the Cuirassiers and Dragoons released, the range needs cavalry (and artillery, light troops and staff officers)!

If it can be done quickly without much delay to the artillery etc, then release a couple of French infantry moulds to get collectors of French armies up and running, these could contain:

Mould 1

  • Rank and file advancing
  • Rank and file march attack
  • Tricorn - fusilier
  • Tricorn - grenadier
  • Bearskin with bag - grenadier

Mould 2
  • Drummer
  • Officer (who could double as standard bearer)
  • Tricorn - officer
  • Bonet de Police
  • Bearskin with no bag - Cuirassiers du Roi (if it will not fit in the cavalry mould)

However PA have not yet decided whether or not to do some French early, as it will cause some delay to tthe artillery and light troops. However there is a case for releasing some French infantry after the 'Austrian' cuirassiers and 'Prussian' dragoons,

As usual, thoughts please?

Thursday 9 July 2015

Austrian Cavalry

Sorry for the quiet spell........... Chris has now restarted work on the Austrian cavalry.

Austrian Cuirassier

Attached is a photo of the almost finished 'green' of the trooper. There is a bit of work to do (reins, holster caps, lower the cartouche and round off the saddle cloth a bit), but quite close.

I selected the pose, as that is how I like to see my cuirassiers (hard looking) - I hope you like it. I think the resulting figure is very good, and am looking forward to painting up a unit (or two).

The intention is to cut the figure at the waist, where there will be a 'plug' joint, and the neck where there will be the same fixing as in the infantry. This should allow a fair amount of variation (it is not possible to completely split the horse and rider in semi flats).

We are not yet sure what will fit in the moulds, possibly just the horse in one, and three torsos, carbine, and heads in another. if only three torsos it is a bit of a shame, as I would like to see four, with an officer, standard bearer, trumpeter and trooper. If only three will fit I think that the musician could be left out and added, along with a dragoon drummer, a little later.

Austrian Dragoons & Musicians

Another mould with torsos can cover the officer, standard bearer and trooper for the dragoons, and a further mould for the musician torsos of both the dragoons and cuirassiers.

I think that there should be another walking horse to add a bit of variety - any thoughts on the dragoon pose?

Prussians and Russians

Once we have the first test castings we can see how much/little is needed to complete the dragoons and cuirassiers:

  • Prussian dragoons might just need new torsos & heads.
  • Prussian cuirassier might need new horses (shorter coat tails and sabretache) and heads
  • Russians might just need new horses (sword belts outside coat tails)

This can really only be decided once we get the first batch cast up.

As usual comments welcome, particularly just as we are setting of with the cavalry.